The funeral was good, y’all. I love them. For a while, I tried to couch that love in more acceptable phrases like “it was as good as such things can be” and “it was lovely” and “it’s an important right of passage” but more recently, I just admit I love them. A little group-emotion-solidarity? Yes. Some ritual? Yes. Talking about the best parts of a person? Yes.
From an email to Bionic:
****’s dad is a preacher – it was his wife who died – and when everyone stands and greets each other with “peace be with you” he came over to the side of the church where a bunch of us were standing and only doing a little greeting and peace-ing and said, hanky (yes, hanky – I’d brought one of my grandma’s to give to **** and good thing I did because she gave it to her dad in the middle of the service) in hand, “for those of you are are not as familiar with our traditions, peace be with all of you” which was the most moving part of the whole deal. ****’s family really is delightful and I am so glad I went. Totally worth the 4 hour drive. Also, rural Virginia. Be still my heart.
It’s possible that one could just read my emails to Bionic (Did you really need a link again? I didn’t think so.) and Uberbutch and skip this blog entirely.
Friday I went to (another) birthday party that involved a viewing of the Topp Twins documentary and a spin in a sauna. I was exhausted from all the driving over the past couple days, and because I am a wimp, but it was an awfully nice birthday party. There was cake:
Wow, that’s not such a good picture. Sorry. Now, I’ma be honest here, since it’s my blog and all, and tell you I don’t love the sentiment on the cake. However, the birthday recipient loved it as did the host who commissioned it and the cake itself was delicious, so I’ll call it a win. Plus, all the other pictures have people in them so this is what you get.
Then Saturday (y’all, this is just like a diary!) I went to a baby shower. Yes. For my dear friend M who worked long and hard to get this baby. I had sorted through a box of baby things that a friend gave me years ago (cho-girl hid it for me in her house for a long time and then it lived in the shed and then it was just time for it to go) and I gave the bulk of it to some other friends (who might have a girl), but I saved some plain and lovely shirts and a little pair of pants for M (who knows she is having a boy). And gave her two tiny hats that were the only baby things I’d ever bought for myself because I knew she’d treasure them and also just use them. There is only so much standing on sentiment that one can do on some hats. Now, I was… unsettled? bothered?… by a number of things at this shower, but they were things that don’t relate to infertility and so from that point of view the shower was great. I am really glad I went, just to make this retelling of my friend’s shower all about me.
Last night I did nothing. It was heaven. There’d been too much time away from home and my internal organs were starting to shrivel up. I ate left overs and watched trashy tv and polished my shoes and my roommate’s shoes with my grandpa’s shoe shine kit. There was a fire. In the stove. Unrelated to my grandpa’s shoe shine kit.
This afternoon, I’m going to Red Row Farm. Five years ago, when they still lived in Starrhill, W yelled over the fence early in the morning that L’s water had broken and so we spent that drizzly Saturday walking around Starrhill and 10th & Page trying to get labor started. A little less than 24 hours later, A arrived and I fed his mama ice chips that I think she still claims are the best thing ever, and watched as they encouraged A to nurse and became a family. I left them at the hospital and came back to Starrhill and got the nicest hug from L’s mama who had just arrived from NJ. It was a pretty great day.
Y’all. It has been a day. A good day, mind you, but A Day, all the same.
School was damn good, for a Wednesday, and I made it to staff meeting “on time” which is supposed to mean that there is just enough time to run a load of laundry through the washer and dryer. Today, I realized this is a false assumption. I stayed 15 minutes late and it was still not dry. Oh, well. But! All in all, work was good.
Then I drove to RIC to pick up a friend who flew in to see her sister’s new baby and, well, RIC is far. It’s an easy drive and I’m happy to do it, but it’s far. And then we went down to Nelson County to see said new baby and her equally appealing older sisters, and, of course, then we had to come back to Starrhill. All of which equals late. So worth it. But sill late.
And it’s not over! This afternoon I got the funeral information about another friend’s mama and the service is tomorrow. So I set about scrambling to find a sub and tried to figure how late I could leave school in cville and still make it to the church in Southside and then I had to organize a car, just in case the scrambling-for-a-sub worked out, because I’d loaned mine out for the next few days and then I had to get said organized car, which my visiting friend obligingly helped out with, and then, well, it was late. Like 9:30 or something. Which isn’t late for getting home for lots of people, but it is for me.
And the trash still had to be put out and the recycling and the fire had to be started because it’s damn cold all of a sudden. Lucky for me, my housemate fed the cats, else I’d have lost a limb when I finally arrived home.
And then I did some math involving time and realized that I could scramble a little more to get a sub to go to this funeral, because, for real, ya’ll: it’s funeral. You just go, as my father always says. My uncle, my dad’s older brother, flew from the west coast back east for every damn family funeral in my life time. He’d often stay with me and he’d always arrive with a bottle of George Dickel and we’d have drinks on the porch in the evening and breakfast from the bakery in the morning and then he’d pick me up from school so we could make it to whichever country church it was that go-round. Mostly he was here for a day or two, but he’d sometimes fly in on the red-eye and then out on an evening flight. And I’m fretting over a drive to Southside? No. My subs are in order; my funeral clothes are out and ready to be carried to school; I have my dad’s truck and I am getting to that damn church on time. May all your people who are no longer with you rest in peace.
- carried a heavy casserole to school as well as the damn bag of laundry
- did not miss the bus, and the driver greeted me with “I got ya” when I went to pull out my bus pass, which would be less of an event, but my bus doesn’t have a consistent driver anymore. It does, however, have another rider who gets off and on at the stop by my school. She is awfully nice.
- at school, it was Thursday, which is far better than Wednesday this year. Who knows why.
- a kindergartener came down to my class to show me and my assistant her math, which is par for the course with her these days. She shows us the problem she’s just done and then one of us gives her a new number. This has been going on for weeks. “I think I feel like doing some more math” she says when she asks us to make up a new number for her. Pics on Instagram because, yes, it happened. I enjoyed telling her about Ada Lovelace today.
- my assistant and I wore matching bottoms today. Her skirt looked great. My jeans were undergoing their probationary period and, sad to say, they failed. Cho-girl allowed as they were sort of mom-jean-ish. They are a really nice color, but they failed.
- rediscovered a press pot at school and so now we all have a little coffee in the afternoons and it is like heaven.
- tonight my book club is going to the movies. We are more of a multimedia club, actually.
- had post-work coffee (wow, that’s a lot of afternoon coffee) with cho-girl. We sat on the porch because we can.
How’s this for committed, y’all? Twice in one week.
Or, rather, I do.
Y’all, I went to church today. Did you ever? I know. It was for a Christening, which was lovely, and I got to sing some hymns, which, atheist or no, I do love to do. The sermon was about home, or at least that’s what I took from it. The preacher jumped off from Jeremiah’s letter (I do love the story of the Babylonian Captivity because it has a good song written about it, and who doesn’t love a story that turns into a good song. Also, it is a story I know.) and somehow ended up with a baseball metaphor, which worked BTW, and it was really pretty lovely.
Home is something I think about a lot. What is it, where is it, how do I make it, when do I feel like I’m there, what happens when I’m not there, who fits there, etc, etc, et cetera. Of note: bad things happen if I’m not home for more than, say, 45 minutes. Things like my organs start to fail and maybe the cats cry that I’m not around. So. Stay home, me.
Anyways. What’s been happening, other than out of character church going? Let’s make a list.
- school started, cho-girl left me (not really, she has taken over the other toddler class) and I got a new and lovely assistant
Y’all, nothing else has happened. It’s nice. I like things not happening. How about I keep writing and things will keep not happening?